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Discussion on: Why your website should work without JavaScript.

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava • Edited

I don't think anybody is actively blocking the JavaScript anymore, those 1% would be some bots trying to browse using chrome/firefox user agents. And some developers trying to test the website for SEO. The cost of making application without JavaScript for 1% users is too high to consider any revenue from them. For such users you can always tell them to download Electron bundled website.

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williamhenderson profile image
William Henderson

Imagine just going onto some modern website from a really old or bad device and it's like "download this 150MB+ piece of software just to view the site"...

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shadowfaxrodeo profile image
Nathaniel Author

That's not the conclusion gov.uk came to. They came up with a way of tracking this number not including bot traffic.. Buzzfeed came to a similar conclusion and decided it was worth their time.

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konung profile image
konung

To be fair Buzzfeed’s 0.8% of traffic is bigger than most websites 100% of traffic, so it does make sense for them to invest significant resources to rebuild / cater to them . If your site gets 1000 visistors per week, and it’s not a pay-per-use, financially there is not incentives to spend 100s of hours to rebuild your website to cater to 10 people per week

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shadowfaxrodeo profile image
Nathaniel Author • Edited

Once you add up all the 0.8% niches everyone belongs to you end up something closer to 100%.

Everyone belongs to a niche at least temporarily. One could argue that there's no point in catering to people on 2g connections, or feature phone users, or the visually or motor impaired. But when you do make your site welcoming to everybody you may find more visitors show up — and you've improved your site not just for those specific people but for everyone.

Honestly I don't think it's harder to build a site this way, we're all just so used to using javascript frameworks that we think in javascript. html and css are way easier.

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

Again, I think @konung made right point, you must calculate the money lost in such visitors, for BuzzFeed, Youtube and general social media, it makes sense because to offer server side rendering for 0.8% fits in their budget. For lot of small business applications, there is no enough returns to support SSR.

If user cannot even afford to upgrade from 2g to 3g, do you think they will pay for the services you will offer? The calculation is straight forward, for BuzzFeed and social media sites, even 2g user is a target audience because they sell ads and ads are generally targeted to all users for brand awareness.

But for SASS business services or any subscription based services where users will pay to business, non paying users are burden.

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andyharmon profile image
Andy Harmon

Additionally, the Government Digitial Service (and developers across government in the UK, at least) still design their services to be operable and usable without JavaScript. And rightly so - a choice a citizen makes, wether for good reason or not, shouldn't prevent them from accessing public services.

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pclundaahl profile image
Patrick Charles-Lundaahl

Jusr chiming in here: I am that 1%! I actively block JavaScript on plenty of sites. However, I'm probably not your target audience - specifically, I block JS on sites that use it to do annoying things (playing floating videos, popping up mailing list signup forms, powering floating chatbots that ping me constantly, or auto loading comments or images I don't care about). It lets me filter out the noise so I can focus on the content (I also heavily use Firefox's reader mode). If those things are core to your business model or marketing activities, then yeah, you probably don't want to cater to people like me.

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akashkava profile image
Akash Kava

Yes here is the difference, website is what people expect to read, reading and consuming content is one part of website which does not need JavaScript frameworks, but SASS or subscription based business applications where users pay for the service, disabling JavaScript does not work in user's favor. You are competing book with a interactive game.

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pclundaahl profile image
Patrick Charles-Lundaahl

Sure, no disagreements there - full-blown webapps requiring JavaScript is obviously reasonable, particularly if it's a paid service that isn't going to be needed in a personal emergency. However, if it's a critical service, I truly think it's only responsible to make sure the app works on low-end devices (insurance, medical, counselling, govt., or anything else that someone might need to access in an emergency).

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ziizium profile image
Habdul Hazeez

Yet another +1.

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ziizium profile image
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unsungnovelty profile image
Nikhil • Edited

I too am that 1%. We might be a minority but I hate it when the websites don't work without javascript. Especially if it is your personal website (this is a personal opinion and you can ignore :) ).

While I understand JavaScript have it's genuine use cases, dumping JS like we are doing now is not very great for privacy, security, accessibility and climate!

Every unnecessary computation is bad for climate. Performance not only equals better UX anymore, it means less emissions and better climate. websitecarbon.com is something I recently discovered which roughly calculates the carbon emission of a website.

While websitecarbon.com shouldn't be used as a strict benchmark, it definitely raises the question on how to create less emissions for websites? The answer most often than not is definitely using HTML and CSS without JS unless and until really necessary.

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